Tuesday, January 6, 2015

5 Preventative Measures Heading into Winter

Lately, I've had the opportunity to query a number of successful snow and ice management professionals on the universal areas for improvement within a snow removal operation.

Here's a summary of what they thought were the top five things to focus on heading into a winter season that has immediate impact on a snow removal business.

1. Training and education
Everyone knows education and training are the essential keys to success in this industry. Properly trained staff and crews are essential to a profitable operation. They are also keys to risk reduction. Have you properly trained your team? How about your service providers? Where can you find improvements? Training is done both internally, and through external resource – such as associations and with professional industry consultants. Utilizing both reduces exposure to risk and ensure greater profit margins.

2. Documentation
Everyone in this industry has heard “document, documents, document!” Are your documentation processes thorough? Are you documenting EVERYTHING? This includes preseason inspection reports, in-event documentation, post-event process documentation, and weather service reporting. The more documentation you have, the better the chance of frivolous slip-and-fall claims being dropped.

3. Contracts
Have you had an attorney review your contracts? Contract language is key. Cutting and pasting from one contract to the next could create liability down the line. Being thorough with service contracts may have some initial costs, but it will save you headaches – and money -- down the line.

4. Know local laws and codes

Every state and municipality has slightly different laws and restrictions. Know your local and state laws as it pertains to your operations. Also be aware of building and fire codes as those can change from city to city at times.

5. Planning
What if something goes wrong? What is the back-up plan? The more you look ahead and plan for the worst case scenario…the better you will be.

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